Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am infinitely grateful for peace.  After a lifetime of roller-coastering between feeling like I got this and feeling like the world is ending, I’m not naïve enough to believe that I’m through with the ups and downs.  That is the natural course of things.  But today, the changing of the season, the beauty of life, being in the moment, seeing life as something that isn’t heavy felt freeing in a way I’ve experienced only a few times.  Being myself, witnessing myself, including myself in where I was felt amazing.  Honoring what I wanted to do in the moment highlighted the connection I’ve been yearning for—what I need more of.  The weight lifted.  And the fear of enjoying the good while it’s here evaporated.  That is life.  It’s all around us.  And it’s up to us to engage.

Today I am grateful for witnessing life.  My niece’s family came over today and we watched the boys play.  Spending time with family and seeing the unconditional love of youth, the fearlessness to be who they are, the unrestrained looking for joy (and the unguarded audacity to experience it) snapped me into reality.  Life is about presence and there is nothing like seeing little ones to remind us what that means.  They feel, they express, they move on and they repeat.  There is no dwelling.  All of the concern I see in my child comes from me.  That is nothing more than learned behavior.  Seeing him today in all of his four-year-oldness made me realize I don’t want to pass this burden on to him.  It’s time for me to learn a few lessons from him. 

Today I am grateful to put the attention outside.  I’ve lived my life thinking that I had to bear the burden of my concerns, my mindset all on my own and I’ve seen over and over again how reaching out to others helps in those times.  Not that I don’t do that, but more often than not the underlying fear of not having my needs met takes over and I don’t always reach out as I should.  But I put a stop to that.  I have a few friends who are also going through some challenging times and I stopped my bullshit and reached out.  I checked on them and make sure THEY were ok.  I reached out to family as well and took the attention outside of myself.  That funk we put ourselves in is something we can get out of.

Today I’m grateful for remembering power.  I’ve gotten myself to a crossroads many times before and I’ve turned around.  I’ve repeated patterns and complained about not getting results.  Life doesn’t work that way.  I preach it all the time but I have this fear of following what I know is right for me.  That goes back to the security and safety I’ve been looking for.  There are no guarantees in life and there is no way to know that even playing it safe will be safe.  Jim Carrey said, “You can fail at doing what you don’t like so you might as well go after what you love.”  So now I can look at what I need to do differently.  It’s on me. 

Today I’m grateful for reminders to do things one at a time. I saw a video today about a guy’s friends asking him where he had been and they were saying that he doesn’t go out much anymore.  He replied that he was taking care of himself.  I realized that I’d rather disappear and come back a better version of who I am rather than disappearing and not addressing what makes me this fragile mess.  I’m stronger than that.  So I think it’s time to simply prioritize.  I can want to do all the things that get me where I’m envisioning—and I CAN do them.  But in order to do that successfully, it has to be one step at a time.  Then build from there.  That’s how life works: build the foundation and then build ON the foundation. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

Afterthoughts

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After a lot of deep thought after the post about light and my fears related to time, I realized how much healing I have left to do.  I started listening to what I was hearing instead of letting it run rampant and I heard myself saying, “I don’t want to be stuck like this anymore.”  The universe replied, “You don’t have to be.”  “But I don’t know how to heal, this keeps happening.”  And the universe said, “Put it down.”  I have the choice to keep defining myself as the girl looking to be perfect and the girl who won’t make it on her own, the girl who needs others to lift her up to succeed.  Or I can put down what I’ve been fearing, and step into my power.

Friday was my dad’s birthday and he is one of the ones I feel is trying to “run out the clock.”  He is tired and he is disappointed in his life.  He is resigned that it’s over for him.  That isn’t the truth, but that is his mindset.  And I fear losing him because that is my DAD.  Not that I don’t have infinite love for my mother, but she is resilient in a different way.  My father is not.  Saturday was my grandmother’s birthday.  And I see how much I am like she was.  The youngest in the family, always striving to prove, needing to be perfect in order to get attention, also having those who love us hate us for that, feeling so lonely and isolated.  Trying to find safety, so needing to control everything. And that is the wound that I need to heal.

It isn’t about letting go of time and being flippant with responsibility, but it is about recognizing that we only have power over ourselves and that we can redirect as needed.  It’s redefining the relationship with time and understanding that while time is short, we have enough.  We are here on a bigger plan than our own and we need to make the most of what we have.  It is all part of something greater than ourselves.  When the fear is healed, that is when presence comes in.  And when presence comes in, that is when life happens.  It isn’t about controlling actions and perceptions, it’s about channeling our own behaviors.  It’s about being firmly grounded in reality.            

Light and Time

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“It’s about the light.  It’s always about the light…I feel time passing with the shifting of light patterns.  I stayed at the Newsroom Café 14 years partly, I think, because you don’t feel time passing there.  The early darkening though.  I feel it.  Sometimes I panic and grab a table corner or doorway as if to stop the passing of it.  Time.  Because what if I don’t get where I need to before it’s too late.  Before it’s dark?  Before I’m old(er)?  Before I’m dead.  Before someone else gets there first?,” Jennifer Pastiloff.   As I spoke about time yesterday, I came across this one that I saved.  It so perfectly encapsulates what I feel about time, feeling it pass and slip through my fingers, simultaneously intangible but SO palpable.  I think a lot about my childhood and, in spite of the traumas, how safe I felt.  Why I stayed with my parents for so long and why I cling to them so desperately.   I can see the way the light looks when it hits the lawn, or when it enters a room and I am instantly transported back to those moments.  And then I get so fearful and heavy because those moments are gone and what if I am never safe again?

Life moves forward regardless of where we are stuck mentally.  And I’ve been living with my foot on the brakes, trying to stop life from moving forward because I’m afraid of losing what can’t be brought back.  I feel like those I love the most, the ones I have relied on the most are at the point in their lives where they are trying to run out the clock and I have no control over that.  We have no control over when the clock runs out, period.  No amount of control or stomping our feet will ever stop it.  And that complicates things when you have trauma because the trauma sticks you at a point and the world keeps moving on around you.  You see it moving, you know you’re getting older too, but you aren’t moving with it and then you panic that you need to catch up but you don’t have the skills and you’re afraid you don’t have enough time to learn.

So we talk about presence and trying to stay in the moment, because this is all we have.  Right now.  This is the time we are gifted and this is the time we have to work with.  To make the most of it, we need to be with it.  But how can we be with it when we are still agonizing over things long since passed or things that have us filled with so much insecurity that we don’t know how to feel who we are?  It is a struggle to get through those moments, every day.  Throw in working for someone else and we start to see that how we spend our time isn’t really working and that queues up the fear of wasted time again.

The rest of Pastiloff’s quote talks about her realizing and reconciling that she is right on time.  Rationally, I can get behind that, but emotionally, the fear is still there.  Fear of missing out, fear of not doing it right, fear of losing everything I love.  Again, things we have no control over.  I have a few brief respites when I’m brought back down to Earth with gratitude and acceptance.  I have a lot to be grateful for.  I am tired, but my work, my soul, my heart, my body have gotten me here.  And this is the definition of surrender.  We have done what we can with what we know, we continue to look for the signs, but we have to accept that what is, is meant to be.     

The truth is all we can do is our best.  Yes, there are tons of scary unknowns but we can’t let fears, rational or otherwise, dictate the course of our lives.  We have no say in how other people live their lives either.  We all have to do our best and allow everyone else to do the same.  We make the most of the time we have here, because in a sick way, the fleeting nature of it is part of what makes this life so precious.  We are only as stuck as we make ourselves.  We can decide at any time that we can put down the weight and the pressure of our past, the weight of the shields we all create, and pick up our own lives.  Light doesn’t change the life we are in right now.  We can redefine the trigger, and find the beauty in each moment.

A Slightly Darker Turn

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“Think of yourself as dead.  You have lived your life.  Now take what’s left and live it properly,” Marcus Aurelius.  I sit with my thoughts and they spin so often I can’t tell what is mine and what isn’t.  I think of my relationship with time and I often see how much time I’ve wasted, either waiting for the right moment, or needing someone to be with me before I moved, or feeling guilty about the things I really want in my life, or being angry that things weren’t going as I planned, and feeling like it had to go a certain way in order for it to be right.  The time I spent trying to make other people adapt to me when I could have walked away or just held my ground regardless. 

I understood very deeply at a young age that time passes quickly and that once it’s gone, it was gone.  I was acutely aware of the moments we have that will not come back and that life was meant to be appreciated.  I was also misguided in how to appreciate life.  I was taught that we respect life by doing what we are told.  How much we let slip through our fingers when we don’t appreciate what we are given and instead lament what we are told is the standard.  I never understand why we still adhere to the basal standards of a medieval society where we still try to collaborate and coerce with those well known and those with the money still have the power.  What would we have if we took away the money?  Don’t misunderstand, I love money and it is a great tool—but it is a tool and should never replace our real gifts.  I digress.

So, for someone like me who wrapped emotion into lost time, this unsettled me initially.  The more I thought about it, the more it started to make sense.  When Aurelius speaks of thinking of yourself as dead, he is asking you to release yourself from time that is gone and can’t be brought back.  He is asking that you let it lie where it is.  You can mourn it, yes, but let it go.  All we have is right now because there is no guarantee of what is in front of us.  And there is no going back to what is done.  We can always start over.  It isn’t always pleasant to begin again, but we have that option if needed and we shouldn’t take that for granted.  I’ve learned that part of reconciling the past is being grateful for it.  If you are still standing today, that means you made it and there are so many who can not say the same. 

Each day is a gift and we have the opportunity to make the most of it.  Life may not go as you plan it, but if you learn to work with it, then it goes much smoother.  Living properly means living in alignment with who we are and that is different for everyone.  Adventure and purpose are different for everyone.  So find what that means to you and go do it.  Don’t wait, don’t lament, just embrace and go do.  While the precarious and fragile nature of time and life in general may be enough for some to play it cautiously, it is also an opportunity to take every chance that comes your way.  Connect with what is really important and do it.  Live your life.

Those Stirrings Mean Something

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“You feel unsettled because you know you are meant for more,” via dailyspiritflow.  A delicious follow up to hearing the whispers and seeing signs around us.  When I slowed down and tried to hear what all of my confusion and lethargy and anger was trying to tell me, the phrases that continually popped into my head were, “You’ve got to be doing more of what you love” and, “You’ve got to take better care of yourself” and, “You’re stronger than you think.”  I’ve been allowing myself to get roped into some old patterns of behavior that no longer serve me and that are no longer indicative of who I am.  The words my husband said about me a few weeks ago pushed me over the edge in a new way and I’ve felt helpless because SO many things seem to be going to the wayside no matter how hard I try.

I don’t know about you, but when I deal with anxiety, sometimes I get these weird surges of absolute confidence followed by absolute insecurity.  It’s like the universe is testing how much I really believe in myself or how much I really want something.  It’s a sign that the confidence I think I feel isn’t quite as solid as I would like it to be, but it’s also a sign of where I need to go.  We are meant to fulfill our purposes and when we are walking around like zombies, repeating the same thing day after day, our souls begin to cry and send us messages.  Maybe those repeated failures at work in spite of doing exactly what’s right, or constantly being told it’s not the right time, is the message that you’re meant to go where things flow.

I’ve been examining the patterns of the people I attract in my life and I’ve recognized that I don’t fit in with a lot of them.  I know I have a helping nature, but the people I attract are either the martyrs who do it all to prove how much they do, or the victims who don’t want to do anything.  I’m neither of those things.  I fall in the middle.  I know when there is work to be done but I am not noble enough to do it on my own.  I also believe that if there is a particular goal, our actions need to be aligned toward that.  I was of the mind that it was easier to do everything on my own rather than try to make people do what was right—and that made me a martyr.  So it gets frustrating being surrounded by the people who need to do more to soothe their souls and those who don’t want to do any of the work and I get left holding the stick in either case.  And that is not what I am meant to be.

The anxiety I’ve been feeling as well as the emotions have been guiding me toward the person I need to be.  Life has been putting me in some uncomfortable situations to remind me of what I can get through and to expose more of who I am.  I used to feel like life had some sort of “punishment incentive” where everyone just feels miserable to some degree.  That is so depressing.  And life is what you make of it, so if you want more, then you need to do more.  It isn’t a punishment, it’s a matter of drive and knowing you need to get to the next level.  When the daily routine becomes intolerable, we have to look at what the issue really is.  More often than not, we need to look at the next steps in our lives.

Our souls speak to us and that is how we remember who we are.  While it may not be a conventional voice (see yesterday’s discussion on signs), there are shouts and whispers everywhere.  We know what we want, we feel what we are capable of, and we are trained to push that aside for the “norm.”  We aren’t meant for the norm, my friends.  What the norm was 100 years ago isn’t the norm today so why are we still trying to fit ourselves in the boxes that didn’t work for the era they were designed in?  We know we are meant for more and it isn’t supposed to be the small percentage that succeed and break out—we are all meant for our own forms of greatness.  When things no longer work, even if those were things you wanted at one time, it is ok.  It is a step in your evolution.  It is time to expand and greet the “more” in your life.  Follow what your inner knowing is telling you—it is always spot on.    

Different Languages

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“There is a voice that doesn’t use words.  Listen.”  Via paradise awakening.  When we talk about voices that don’t use words, there is something internal but there are signs all around us as well.  Nature speaks to us, numbers speak to us, a person we’re thinking about reaches out.  We have to learn to speak that language. 

For about a month, I’ve been disconnected from everything around me.  I’ve been in my head a lot and I’ve been emotional.  I lost touch with recognizing what I was really going after.  I lost touch with what was really me.  And I will fully acknowledge I was off my rocker.  I was putting my spin on everything and not really seeing or hearing the message for what it was.  I’ve been working really hard to come back down and see and feel again.  The piece I wrote yesterday touched on my plans to get back in touch with myself again, and that is what I was talking about.  I needed time to reconnect and see the signs again.

We are given signs when we need to pay attention to the signs as well.  We will keep thinking about something, or we will get a feeling.  Our body will crave something or want us to move in a certain way.  Things repeat, we see them over and over again until we can’t ignore them again.  We are meant to follow those signs and to trust our instincts about what they mean.  Those are our reminders that we are connected to nature and we are spiritual.  We need to hear the answers within and around us. 

Our society tends to move at such a fast pace that we completely ignore what’s around us and even what’s within us.  We make our lives more about keeping up instead of listening to our instincts.  We are trained to do as we are told and that the messages we receive are meaningless.  This is your reminder that we are part of nature, we are born from the universe, and we are VERY much connected to the Earth around us whether we like to admit it or not.  It is our responsibility to remember who we are and let go of what we are told to be and that means hearing those voices and believing them.

One of my teachers used to tell us that our bodies will give us signs long before something happens and it will start with an ache and then progress to getting hit by a 2X4 until we acknowledge it—don’t wait to be taken down.  It can also start with confusion, and being overly emotional—I mean, I have no idea 😉—and we need to decipher what it is we really need.  I may joke about it now, but this last month has been draining on a new level, but it is a good reminder that anything that makes us feel off is a sign to pause and figure out what is really going on.  I got in my own way for a long time, let my ego stop me, let my fears get to me, and I realize that it was just nature telling me that I needed to do something differently.  What whispers are you hearing? 

A Well Laid Plan

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“Go easy.  You’re a human doing human shit,” Robin Plemmons.  On Friday, I had a plan.  We all know things turn out when we have a plan, right?  Yeah…not so much.  I planned on getting to work a bit earlier and finish out the day with my leadership team, go grocery shopping, work on my writing, get to bed, have my husband and son go fishing in the morning so I could work, go to a friend’s kids’ birthday party, and enjoy the weekend.  So what happened: My son woke up with a reflux attack so we ended up running late.  As soon as I dropped my son off, I got a call out from one of my departments.  Throughout the day there were multiple issues that required attention.  Then a surprise assignment came from my boss—something we started a few weeks ago and I spent about an hour on it to be told that the project really wasn’t for us.  An old issue came up that another employee needed resolution on at the same time.  When I got home, my son sounded ok and within 30 minutes he started sneezing like crazy…and now he’s got a cold.

My frustration was palpable because I have been emotionally drained, I haven’t been sleeping well, and I really got my hopes up to have some time to decompress and work through my thoughts.  As childish as it sounded, I really just wanted some time to myself.  Plus I know I really need to focus on some planning that I can make tangible and execute, so losing that time immediately sent me into a spiral.  And then it hit me: ok, you’re talking about shifting anyway, you’re trying to plan a shift, and here is an opportunity.  The whole day has been about shifting—and it all got done anyway.

Life isn’t about being rigid and meeting expectation after expectation.  It’s about adapting and flexing and working with life.  This is another reminder to stop trying to do ALL the things at once and stop trying to jam so much in.  All things get done in their time.  The lesson isn’t trying to do more, it’s trying to do more with grace and ease.  Gentleness for our humanity.  No one can be everything.  But we can all be the best at what we are. 

For those of us that are type A and really driven, it’s hard to recognize our limits.  And it’s hard to acknowledge and “give in” to them.  Whether it is piling on the to-do list, or setting really ambitious goals, we have the optimism that we can do it all.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the pressure we put on ourselves to accomplish and do and check things off the list leaves us depleted.  We have to remember to leave room for all of our human-ness.  We are all doing our best.  And there are certainly times when being human takes precedence.  When we get sick or when our kids get sick, it’s often a reminder to slow down.  Nurture ourselves and our family.  Taking time to take care of ourselves and the ones we love becomes number one.  We need reminders to slow down.  Granted they aren’t convenient, but we have to remember to take care and be proud of the progress we’ve made.  

So while I wasn’t able to make exactly what I planned, it was a reminder to slow down and really process what was happening around me.  I had been asking for time to examine what I’m really driving for and what I really need to focus on—and maybe this was the way to do it.  It was a reminder to focus on the physical and not on the cerebral.  Sometimes the answers are found right in front of our face and not in our minds—it’s learning to discern what you really need.  Give space for what you really need.  It will all come together as you need it.

Sunday Gratitude

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Today I am grateful to give into a little sloth.  My body has been craving rest on an unusual level and I don’t know if I’m fighting a cold, but I slept in until 7AM today and took a nap at 12:30PM.  It felt great.  There are times when you absolutely need to listen to what your body is telling you, not to mention your mind.  I’ve been stressed and trying to find any way out of it, and what I really needed was to stop and feel my way through it to identify the source of the need for constant movement.  I had to sit with the fear and the discomfort and yes, I had to let go of my need to control, and let my body and mind get what they needed.

Today I am grateful for a little playfulness.  I spent some time connecting with my son again and playing with his favorite tactile action figures.  He asked me to slide down the stairs on my butt with him and we laughed so hard…and my son looked at me and said, “I love it when you laugh.”  My heart melted.  I guess the laughter has been a bit short to come by lately. We took a trip to the pet store to find some supplements for the dog.  I randomly bought her a cookie and seeing her eat it was hilarious.  We sat and watched the game together.  Just a bunch of mindless activities to disconnect from the swirling thoughts.

Today I am grateful for indulgence.  I’ve been stressed and restricting myself and then not eating the healthiest because I want something quick.  Today, I continued the theme of listening to my body and I gave into what I wanted.  And as it goes, when I gave in, the craving immediately went away.  Now, I’m not professing always giving in, but there IS a time for it.  When you’re stressed and not thinking straight, it doesn’t help to put additional pressure on yourself.

Today I am grateful to recalibrate and connect with myself.  Today is Mental Health Day and I’ve shared plenty of stories about my struggles with anxiety and self-harm.  Part of mental health is acceptance.  As challenging as it is because we have such a “normative” forcing/pushing society (meaning we are expected to all be “normal”), the more we discuss that the “norm” is really that everyone struggles at times, the more we can break the stigma and heal—and create a new norm.  I have accepted that I have struggles and that what is normal for me isn’t normal for everyone else.  I’ve taken time to rest, to nourish, to indulge, to perform self-care, and to be silly.  THAT is what I needed today. 

Today I am grateful for taking the next steps in my life emotionally.  I’ve been fighting with my husband quite a bit lately because I’ve been spinning stories about how he is and how he feels about me in my head.  I was honestly close to calling it quits.  I had a major breakthrough yesterday (the anniversary of my grandmother’s birth) and recognized that what I need isn’t necessarily fixing—it is healing.  In order for me to move forward, I have to heal.  That means honesty, no longer hiding who I am and what I want, it means releasing guilt over what I want.  It means being authentic at all times.  And it means not putting my issues on other people or being dependent on others to fulfill my lack.

Today I am grateful to check myself.  Part of the breakthrough is understanding what is mine and what isn’t.  For example, I’ve been afraid of “disappointing” my boss again in spite of knowing that it was inappropriate for her to say that in the first place.  I’m concerned because my son is sick and I don’t want to have to call out tomorrow.  But I have decided that I can no longer carry that burden—I need to make sure my son is ok and I need to do what is right for my family—and for myself. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.      

Directing Life

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Myliek Teele gave an Instagram live on directing our own lives where she discussed deciding what we wanted and acting in accordance with that.  She gave real examples like, if you don’t want to get up early, don’t apply for a job that starts at 7am.  It’s ok to acknowledge who we are and what we want and we have more power than we think to shape our lives as we see fit.  In fact, that is exactly what we need to do if we expect to be happy doing what we are doing.  If there is a particular lifestyle you want, then yes, you need to do what it takes to achieve that and it may require some sacrifices.  But if there are things you really can’t live with, then don’t force yourself to do them.  Learn the difference between the perception you’re trying to give versus the life you’re trying to live—and close the gap.   

For example, I looked at what is happening in my life right now.  I’m still recovering from a near breakdown and looking at what happened both at work and with my husband.  On top of that still balancing managing multiple departments, my son’s schedule, and my own business.  Now, I know this isn’t unique and it isn’t even unique that I’m doing it on my own.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle while you’re in it or that it doesn’t take a minute (or a month) to gather your bearings.  For me, the first thing I’m working on is recognizing that I don’t need to apologize for what is happening in my life.  As I said, I’m not the first person to go through this so why should it be a problem for others because I’m the one going through them?  They will deal with it.  The expectations on me are unrealistic.  I’ve learned where I do need to step up, yes, but I’m one person and if it comes to protecting my energy or taking care of my family over giving my time to someone else, I will take my energy EVERY time.  I’m realizing the most precious things to me outside of my family are my time and my freedom.  I will not get that doing what I’m doing now.

I’m so glad I listened to that podcast because it put it in perspective for me.  Not everyone needs to achieve corporate success to be successful.  Not everyone leads in the same way—and that doesn’t make them wrong.  People have different needs and wants and goals and it is up to them to protect them, to work for them because no one will just give it to them.  If you’re not clear with your time or boundaries, you will end up working toward someone else’s goals over your own. 

We have options, we have opportunities, and we are not trees.   The system wants us to forget this so we stay cogs feeding something we know is broken.  Reclaim your power.  Not power over others, but power over yourself.  Power over your time.  Power over what you do with your life.  How you spend your energy guides what happens to you so redefine what is wasting your time.  If you “have” to go out for a corporate dinner that takes you away from your family and the bill comes out of your pocket and you get no return for it, then that was a waste.  But if that dinner can set you up for the next 30 years in a way you want, then absolutely go for it.  If you want time with your children, then don’t take a job that extends you beyond the time you’re comfortable being apart.  I’m not naïve, I know it isn’t always easy, but there are ways.  And as I’ve said before,  even though we compare movement to trees being still, even the trees change their leaves.  And we are in the perfect season for that reminder.     

I want to close this with one last reminder.  We don’t need permission.  We are so trained to wait for the right time and to make sure that our moves won’t inconvenience someone else.  Two things: 1. When it comes to the corporate world, they don’t give a damn if THEIR choices inconvenience you.  If something isn’t a good fit, they cut it out.  2. No one will ever tell you when the right time is because as long as you’re serving their purpose, they have no benefit to “let” you work on yours.  We don’t need permission, we need to remove blocks and that is all on us.  We need boundaries.  We need empowerment.  We need to trust ourselves again because we know this isn’t working.  Take back your life and build it to be every bit as magical as you want it to be.

Instinct and Movement

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“That move you’re scared to make might just be the one,” via ecommercementor.  Fear ALWAYS shows itself when we venture out into a new life.  There is the unknown, the loss of familiarity, the uncertainty of what comes next and whether or not you are prepared for it.  But a lot of that fear comes because we are taught to ignore our instincts in favor of the “norm” and what is considered a safe move.  I am still straddling that world between what I know I need to do and what I’m told I need to do because I bought in for a long time.  I’m a consumer, I like things, and I put my anxiety towards acquiring things to make my nest “complete” and safe—and it took me a long time to see that trap.  I settled for people around me because I was lonely and I played the game of having to look like I had it together (job, house, car, husband, kid, clothes etc.) in order to fit in. 

The truth is, I still didn’t fit in.  My gut and my heart and my head all started recognizing that this wasn’t it for me.  The more I resisted and tried to persist in building what I thought my life should look like over what I really wanted, the more confused I became.  I was doing exactly what I was supposed to, I was following the formula, and still NOT getting the results I was promised for the effort.  And then more and more was being demanded of me.  The more effort I put in, the less return I got.  And then the voice of discomfort and indignance got louder and louder.  I was spending my time doing all of this stuff and still miserable—why wasn’t I taking the time to do what I want?  Sure, I could still fail, but at least I’d be failing at something that meant something instead of wasting my time failing at things that in my heart I didn’t believe in.

At work, we were obligated to assist with a big project related to the mandatory COVID testing/vaccinations for employees (I’m in healthcare for my 9-5).  I wasn’t thrilled about it and I knew I shouldn’t be spending my time doing it because I’m over three other really lean departments—one of them only has one employee currently and the other only has four so if they need me I’m the only one to fill in.  So, I have my work, I need to be ready to fill in for my areas, and now I’m also being pulled to another department’s project.  On top of my schedule being adjusted for my son.  Regardless, I did what I was told.  I went to the training for registration, I literally followed every step given to me, and my access was denied.  I literally couldn’t get beyond a certain point because of my job security.  I have three people from IT, my director, and a lab manager all watching this as I’m demonstrating the workflow, and they ALL see I’m being blocked—and no one can figure it out.  They give me a work around, something different than EVERYONE else—and then that stopped working. 

That is when it really hit me: I have spent my life doing exactly as I’m told and it isn’t working.  HOLY SHIT: I’M NOT MEANT TO DO WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING. It rarely works out for me and it never works out as it’s “supposed” to, so why do I keep doing it?!  I’m meant to forge a new path.  I need to break out and do what works for me.  What is right for me.  It doesn’t matter anymore, their opinions, their expectations, their disappointment in me.  I’ve been clinging to the belief I need to DO what is “right” when in reality, I need to MAKE what is right for me.  That instinct isn’t to be ignored any longer.

In spite of any fear or any logical reason I can think of to keep following the path, the truth is it ISN’T WORKING.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.  As I’m educating myself about other opportunities and possibilities, as I’m getting clearer on what I want for myself, as I’m questioning the way things are and what they can be, that voice of discontent is screaming—and the voice of instinct to do something else is getting louder and louder as well.  I know that even if it’s scary, I need to take the leap into the unknown—the rest of the way.  I’ve been taking small leaps, leaps from levels that I can see so I know where I’m landing.  When I get there I make sure all is well around me before taking the next one—but that isn’t working anymore either.  I need to jump completely into the unknown.  I know the direction, I can trust that is where I’m supposed to go and that I will get where I’m meant to.  So forget the fear and make the move.